I really enjoy reading the book of Daniel. Daniel stands out to me in several ways. First of all, it has some really great stories that are some all time favorites of many children, the burning fiery furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, the hand writing on the wall. It also has prophecies and visions that at first seem confusing but then are clearly explained and these give us insight in how to interpret other Biblical prophecies and how the Bible uses figurative language to describe empires and their fall.
One thing in Daniel that struck me this time is the commentary in the first several chapters about education. In the first chapter we read that Daniel and the other young men were brought to Babylon by the king so that they could be taught the language and learning of that culture. This was the best education that Babylon (the world leader at the time) had to offer. HOWEVER, in verse 17 it is made clear that,
God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
and just in case that wasn’t clear, in verse 20 it says,
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
God “educated” these four men so that they were 10 times more knowledgeable than the most educated men that the leading nation in the world had to offer. The Bible tells us over and over and over that the only way to wisdom and understanding is through knowing and fearing the Lord. The Bible gives us a pattern for educating our children, a textbook and the body of knowledge that must be covered. Still there is much debate and discussion about the “best” method to educate our children, the best curriculum, books, etc and most of the discussion centers around methods that are neither taught nor prescribed in Scripture. As a matter of fact in many discussions the core aspects of a Biblical education are pushed to the side in the interest of practicality.
There certainly is a balance. God gives specific instructions to parents about the training and education of their children. However, just as in every other aspect of human behavior, the results are the Lord’s and not ours. Christians may not lay aside the principles given in Scripture in order make it easier or to obtain a result that seems more desirable.
Our whole family has been sick for the last week (headaches, high fevers and cold symptoms) and we are all (Mark and I and our 4 oldest children) behind in our Bible reading. As we talked about it at the dinner table last night we decided that we would take our two grace days this week. So, I am “caught up” and everyone else is either caught up or will need to read an extra day today.
It’s been quiet out there the past few weeks. Are you all still reading? Don’t get discouraged, keep reading where you are and press on toward the goal of reading all the way through the Bible. It doesn’t matter where you are, leave a comment and let us know that you’re still reading (or not) or link up your update post and let us know how you are doing.
Be sure to check in and link up with Mom’s Toolbox tomorrow.